How can I create a simple Google Sitemap for Search Engine Optimisation?

SEO, "Search Engine Optimisation" is big nowadays. To help Google spider your public Foswiki website, you can create a file with page urls.

As Google says it: "Submit a Sitemap to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover"

Since Google Sitemap accepts a simple list of urls instead of a generated XML file, our job is a lot easier and can simply be done within Foswiki.

What you need:
  • Create a page with a SEARCH to generate the list of urls
  • Install AttachContentPlugin to be able to write the search results to a static file
    • This is because constructs like Topic?section=list;skin=text may run into problems with your robots.txt settings
  • For SEO, do not use WikiWords as topics names; use underscores to separate name parts, like: Annual_report. Google reads this as words in a sentence.
Example search:


Also put this in the topic:
<form action="%SCRIPTURL{"save"}%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%" method="post">
<input type="hidden" name="action_save" value="1" />
<input type="submit" class="foswikiButton" value="Update sitemap file" />

[[%ATTACHURL%/sitemap.txt][View sitemap file]]

Then post that sitemap file url to Google Sitemap.

-- ArthurClemens - 30 Apr 2009

One addition to this FAQ: if you want the site map file to be updated on a regular basis automatically (without you needing to return to the page to edit/save it), you can create a "cron job" (assuming some flavor of Linux OS) something like this:
0 0 * * * cd /var/www/foswiki/bin; ./save topic='MyWeb.SiteMapTopic' >/dev/null 2>&1

The above format assumes the cron job is part of one set up for the system user for your web server (e.g. www-data). You could also use the following variation in /etc/crontab (i.e. the "root" user crontab):
0 0 * * *  www-data  cd /var/www/foswiki/bin; ./save topic='MyWeb.SiteMapTopic' >/dev/null 2>&1

-- Main.LynnwoodBrown - 10 Mar 2021

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TopicClassification FrequentlyAskedQuestion
Subject Public websites, Search
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Topic revision: r6 - 10 Mar 2021, LynnwoodBrown
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